How to Approach Human Resource Management: 13 HR Trends of 2021

Human Resource Management

From survival to prosperity – this is the transformation facing companies that will have to adapt to a different normal after the COVID-19 pandemic. They will have to overcome the crisis that disrupted plans, forced them to accelerate and rethink their views on business management, and use new approaches to human capital management as a driving force.

1. Combining into Superteams

The pandemic has forced a reassessment of business and human resource management priorities. The focus is no longer on individual specialists, but on teams that learn faster, adapt to new work environments, successfully compete, and better cope with uncertainty. In 2021 a new stage awaits us – the emergence of superteams, where human labor is supported by modern technologies: artificial intelligence, machine learning, tools for collaborative work. Superteams will allow businesses to achieve their goals faster, work faster and at lower costs. It is not necessary to replace people with robots – it is more important to make the most of human capabilities, immersing them in a high-tech environment.

2. Changing the Personnel Assessment Approach

The traditional approach with the outdated performance appraisal system has not stood the test of time and, as it turns out, has had a negative impact on business sustainability during the crisis. Companies should get regular feedback so that they can quickly learn about, discuss, and solve staffing problems. This information will allow employees to work more productively, and companies themselves to develop new directions with less effort. A dynamic approach to personnel assessment will help managers make decisions based on the most up-to-date data about the skills and motivation of subordinates. In addition, the pandemic has shown that many employees are successful in moving beyond their job responsibilities and coping with new roles.

3. Shifting the Focus of HR Work

As companies struggle to recover from the crisis, HR functions are expanding significantly, and their importance is increasing. Whereas hiring managers once only managed their staff, they must now engage in business challenges on an equal footing with business leaders to get the best results. This will be possible if HR teams expand their authority and influence over human resources and solve problems faster and more creatively. In order to do so, it would be logical for HR employees to do wider reading on materials such as HiPeople blog in order to find methods to improve some of the key processes human resources typically handles. HR specialists must learn to think in a new way: to see ordinary people behind employees, to focus not on processes but on the global mission of the company, not just optimize, but to design work to make the company more resistant to external influences. To do this, HR needs to focus not on current tasks, but on the result, to unite employees into teams and super-teams, to stimulate innovation in working with personnel, to identify, develop and fully use the potential of employees.

4. Adapting New Employees Online

Software products that help employees integrate into their workflows in stages will be even more relevant in 2021. Part of the interest in them has been spurred by the mass shift to remote work. Use of IT-systems helps to reduce staff turnover, save time, and relieve HR-department specialists from fulfilling large volumes of routine tasks. And it would be convenient for employees to learn about the company’s structure, professional obligations, reward, and punishment systems on a corporate portal or in a separate knowledge base, where the information is structured. Some of the adaptation tasks can be assigned to chatbots, which will answer typical questions, provide links to internal documents, and even introduce newcomers to each other.

5. Moving Away From the “Critical Roles + Skills” Model

Before the pandemic, they were viewed in tandem and considered essential to achieving strategic business goals. Now skills have a higher priority. A company that wants to succeed needs to divide tasks among different people with these skills, rather than look for “one-size-fits-all” soldiers.

6. Gamification

HR-specialists more and more often use game methods to motivate personnel who in everyday routine stop “burning”, become less initiative and, consequently, less productive. Gamification helps to interest the employee in the work results, causes competitive interest and stimulates to do the set tasks better. It can be a bonus program, an internal rating system, competitions within departments.

7. Taking Care of Employees and Not Walking Away From Balance of Personal Life and Work

Quarantine measures have “blurred” the boundaries between personal life and work, so managers are beginning to integrate care for employees directly into the work process: it is important to the business that they be physically and mentally healthy. To do this, they are transferred to a remote work format, when the risks of infection increase. Some companies expand the terms of health insurance, give the opportunity to reboot emotionally, not just to cope with job duties, but also to grow professionally. All of this will allow employees to feel comfortable and work with maximum dedication.

8. Unlocking Human Resources Potential

COVID-19 forced many to try new roles and accomplish tasks that they had never had to face before. Some employees demonstrated their leadership skills when they had to make important decisions urgently, retrain quickly, and adapt to new demands. In 2021, it is important for companies to create an environment where their employees have more choice in what they do and take initiative more often to better deal with challenges. This will allow a company to quickly accumulate human resources around new business challenges.

9. Search for Candidates on Social Networks

Recruiters were interested in social media even earlier than marketers. By 2021, online resources have become a valuable multifunctional tool that helps close vacancies and simultaneously build a positive image of the employer, at the same time stimulating sales. What will be of interest to recruiters soon are chatbots that automate and simplify recruitment in social networks.

10. Delegating Tasks to Outsourcing Companies and Freelancers

During the lockdown, some qualified employees lost their jobs – companies did so because of budget constraints. But because the need for certain services remained, outsourcing companies and freelancers took the place of salaried employees. And while businesses are saving money this way, HR departments will have to develop new systems for evaluating work performance (KPIs) for them.

11. Use of Employee Monitoring Software

Employers are increasingly using analytical tools to monitor employee time and workload. By analyzing the information collected while monitoring, it is possible to understand how much time employees spend at their computers, how much is spent on working with an e-mail client, and how much is spent on communicating in the corporate messenger.

12. Cost Optimization

The crisis has forced companies to reconsider spending and adopt new rules of the game, when they must save on literally everything, including HR. You can expect 2021 to see cuts in compensation and benefits budgets, fewer corporate events, and financial incentives. Remote work is one way to reduce costs.

13. Comfortable Conditions for Different Generations Working in the Same Team

Generations Z, X, and Y often must work in the same team, and older employees can be managed by younger leaders. It is important for the manager of the company to eliminate psychological discomfort experienced by all parties, as well as to equalize the performance expectations of each generation.


Major consulting companies predict that in 2021 even more attention will be paid to the development of human capital. While routine tasks can be entrusted to automated systems to process information, the value of creativity is coming to the fore. And HR managers will have to meet new challenges-not just in recruiting, but in business in general. You can also hire human resources solutions instead.

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